“But, you’re my kind of weird.”
Jim and Caroline are 100% comfortable being themselves with each other, and you can tell they love each other’s “weirdness”. It’s pretty common for people to wear a mask or facade so they can manipulate others’ perception of them, but I didn’t get that sense at all with Jim and Caroline. In spending a day with them, I feel like I really got to genuinely know them. What they did a great job of throughout the day was focusing on each other and remembering the essence of what their wedding day was all about. You know I’m a big fan of that! Weather-wise, there wedding day was really gross with light rain and strong winds blowing all day, so it could have been easy to get bummed out about that, but I almost felt like knowing nothing was happening outside put Caroline even more at ease and made her day better!
We started the day getting ready at the DoubleTree in Downtown Cedar Rapids. The girls had hair and makeup done in their hotel suite, and the guys donned their suits and shared a cheers of scotch down the hall. From there, Jim and Caroline shared a first look together, and neither were shy in hiding their excitement. We did all of the bride and groom portraits at the DoubleTree (again, a great place to be trapped on a rainy day). It seemed like we had the place to ourselves. Afterward we traveled over to Eastbank Venue and Lounge to finish up with wedding party portraits. Both the wedding ceremony and reception were held at Eastbank, which made the logistics of the day even easier. Fortunately, Eastbank is really, really good looking as well.
The ceremony followed a traditional format, but it was far from traditional in its presentation. They had a pair of friends officiate the wedding for them, and it was more or less a scripted performance that took place with a high level of entertainment that had everyone in the crowd cracking up. Jim and Caroline had written their own vows, so they shared those with each other in the middle of the ceremony, which swung the pendulum from lighthearted to everyone’s crying up in here. They exchanged rings, they kissed and then they walked back down the aisle with some of the biggest smiles you’ll ever see.
After dinner, we got into the dancing, which was quite lively for a wedding of a little over 100 people! With practically everyone being from out of town and no place to go, they hunkered down and danced the night away! Instead of wedding cake, they opted to share Hurts Donuts with their guests. When the open “donut bar” was announced, a hoard of savages flocked to the table and made 10 dozen donuts disappear quicker than one could have thought possible! They were quite a hit. One of the highlights of the day (perhaps THE highlight of the day) was a SURPRISE choreographed dance that Jim and Caroline’s family and friends had worked to put together. It was a pretty elaborate 8-10 minute dance mashup that featured some hard hitting 90s pop anthems. Jim and Caroline didn’t know what to think, so they just watched with their jaws on the floor for the first couple minutes, then they laughed, then they cried. It was a pretty cool deal and I know they couldn’t have felt more loved in that moment.
Jim and Caroline, it was a pleasure to share the day with you guys as you sealed your love for one another. Well done on being uniquely you and shaping your wedding day around who you guys are! We wish you guys a lifetime of love and happiness together!
Hair – Sam Smith (Mood’s)
Makeup – Anna (Mood’s)
Flowers – Bohemian Blossoms
Video – Rob Merritt
Dress – David’s Bridal Manhattan
Catering – The Avacentre
Donuts – Hurts Donuts
Transportation – Dolly’s Party Bus
Photographers – Carter Photography